South Hills notebook: Baldwin graduate Dadig dazzles as George Mason shortstop

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019 | 11:09 PM


Notebook items from around the Baldwin campus:

• Baldwin graduate Taylor Dadig secured a starting job at shortstop in her freshman season on the George Mason softball team. A four-year starter in high school, she led all shortstops in the Atlantic 10 with a .960 fielding percentage on 179 total chances and turned nine double plays.

She led the Patriots in assists with 96, fifth in the conference.

Dadig compiled a 3.96 GPA while studying civil and infrastructure engineeringand was named to the A-10 commissioner’s honor roll. Dadig was Baldwin’s Female Athlete of the Year as a senior.

She had 138 career hits and was named all-state and all-section multiple times.

• Baldwin football coach Loran Cooley kicked off his summer at the NFBD All-Star Game on June 2 at Cupples Stadium.

“It was an honor, and I had a lot of fun,” Cooley said. “I thank Jordan Rooney for the opportunity.”

NFBD stands for Never Fear Being Different. The all-star game uses traditional high school football rules with two exceptions. One involves the coin flip; the other is that touchdown celebrations are allowed and encouraged.

Players selected for the game were mostly from WPIAL and City League schools.

Cooley coached Team Never Fear, which had a strong contingent of Penn Hills players.

• Baldwin scholarship award winner Macy Hale was a year-round runner in high school.

At least, she tried to be.

Hale was hampered by a leg problem (this past year) that affected her during the indoor track and field season and early into the outdoor season.

“She was just starting to get into good running form and the outdoor season ended,” Baldwin coach Ed Helbig said. “But that didn’t stop her from helping the other athletes in their preparation for the meets. Our women’s team was very young, made up of mostly underclassmen, and Macy helped these very young athletes to develop during the season.”

When Hale was able to compete, she ran in every event from the 400 to the 3,200, plus the 1,600 and 3,200 relays.

• Baldwin’s other 2019 scholarship award winner, Jared Koenig, was a pole vaulting specialist for the Highlanders.

“The pole vault is an event which requires an athlete to go through over 300 different body and muscle movements from the time the vaulter leaves the ground until he or she lands in the pole vault pit,” Helbig said, “any of which can determine the success or failure of a vault.

“All these movements are not normal body movements, and in order for an athlete to become good at this event, he or she must practice these movements over and over again, day after day, practice after practice until these movements become embedded into the muscle memory at which time the vaulter does these movements naturally.”

• Baldwin gymnast Alaina Wodarek was honored as Pittsburgh’s Action 4 Athlete of the Week during her 2018-19 junior season. Wodarek landed the accolade after winning her second consecutive WPIAL title on the floor routine. She has also reeled in back-to-back silver medals at the state level.

“Gymnastics can be very frustrating and difficult, but it is important to remember that it’s all for fun,” Wodarek said. “Once you focus on enjoying what you’re doing, you love every minute and routines come easier.

“I love my team, and we hope to make our coaches and school proud.”

Wodarek also was a captain on Baldwin’s competitive cheerleading team, which took third place in its division at the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship in February in Orlando, Fla.

• The recruiting process continues to pick up momentum for Baldwin’s Dorien Ford, who announced recent scholarship offers from Syracuse and Nebraska.

Ford, a 6-foot-5, 275-pound defensive end, also has received offers from Pitt, Ball State, Howard, Robert Morris and Toledo.

As a sophomore last fall, Ford ranked among Baldwin’s top tacklers, racking up 10 for a loss and recovering two fumbles. He was named to the Class 5A Allegheny Nine all-conference team.

• In softball, all four WPIAL qualifiers in Section 1-6A lost first-round playoff decisions to Section 2 opponents.

Baldwin lost to defending champion Hempfield, 2-1; Bethel Park fell to Norwin, 15-6; Canon-McMillan lost to Seneca Valley, 8-4; and Upper St. Clair was nipped by North Allegheny, 3-2.

Canon-McMillan (12-4), Bethel Park (12-4) and Baldwin (12-3) finished as co-section champions this season and were seeded second, fourth and sixth, respectively. USC (13-6) secured fourth place in the section and a No. 8 seed.

Hempfield won its fifth WPIAL title in a row, blanking North Allegheny, 15-0, in the finals.

• Baldwin’s Jarren Kelly was a Pennsylvania Football Coaches first-team all-state selection on defense this past season.

The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Kelly, who will be a senior this season, started at wide receiver and defensive back. He was voted onto the all-state team on defense at the “athlete” position.

• The Baldwin boys track and field team finished as the runner-up to Mt. Lebanon in Section 6-AAA this past season.

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